A better float for luderick
  |  First Published: May 2017

With the cooler weather upon us, it shouldn’t be long before the luderick turn up. With last year being one of the best seasons for many years, anglers will be keen to get out the long rods, centre pin reels and floats in their quest for a luderick bounty.

While luderick can be caught on almost any tackle at times, they are often extremely finicky. Finesse rigging and extreme concentration are sometimes the only way to get a solid hook-up. Floats can be extremely important for consistent results. There are a few good commercially made ones on the market, but high quality floats are hard to come by. That’s why I make my own.

One attribute that many mass production floats lack is straight sides. The luderick needs to pull the near-neutral buoyancy float down as it takes the bait, so having straight sides will mean that the resistance remains equal as the float descends, which is less likely to spook the luderick.

Additionally, these floats tend to drift at a more equal rate to the speed of the current, which will also promote takes. For my floats I like to use carbon stems as these are extremely tough. Floats can also be made using bamboo satay sticks for stems, but I find these tend to bend slightly, which often results in the floats spinning around in the current and can end in tangles.

Additionally these stems are prone to snapping if you hit a rock when striking. In the past I have even used the end of a light graphite spin or fly rod (with the guides removed) for my stems. The 3mm carbon rods ($5.50/m at Budget Hobbies Capalaba 07 3823 3033) are the best option.

For the main body of the float I use balsa wood as it is easy to work with. A metre of this will cost you around $12 at Bunnings, or a craft or hobby shop. Pine is half the price but will require a lot more effort with sanding. You will also need to get an extra-long 3mm drill bit to drill through your float body.

You could try drilling from both ends with a standard bit and hope the holes meet in the middle. You may think that all this makes for an expensive float compared to what you can buy one for in the shops. However, these handmade floats are far superior to anything commercially made that I have found yet. They will last you a long time, whereas cheaper floats tend to break readily and some even tend to get waterlogged.

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